Politics and Ideology in the Italian Workers' Movement: Union Development and the Changing Role of the Catholic and Communist Subcultures in Postwar Italy

By Gino Bedani | Go to book overview

20
Some Repercussions within the Movement

Political and Internal Tensions

During the 1980s the degree of convergence between the Uil's positions and those of the Psi remained strong, as the socialists continued with some success to promote their function in government. The Cisl, at its organizational conference in January 1980, vigorously restated its neutralist assertion that the sindacato could be truly autonomous only if it were prepared to be equally troublesome to all political parties in the interests of its members. Yet many commentators spoke of a 'demochristianisation' of the Cisl as the decade progressed. At the Cisl Congress of July 1989, the leader of the metalworkers' federation, Raffaele Morese, forcefully defended the Cisl's autonomy, insisting that: 'never, I repeat, never will we be reduced to discussing the leadership of the Cisl at the headquarters of a political party'. 1 One of the confederation's deputy leaders, Mario Colombo, rejecting the thesis of those who continued to speak of the due anime ('two souls') of the Catholic organization, insisted that 'the Cisl can possess only a single soul, inspired by the spirit of autonomy'. 2 The General Secretary, Franco Marini, repeated that the Cisl had over the years demonstrated its 'independence from all outside centres of political, economic and ideological power'. 3 Less than two years later, in May 1991, the Dc Minister of Labour heading the negotiations with the three confederations on the scala mobile and the costs of labour was none other than Franco Marini. Nor is this all. At the time of his vigorous defence of the 'spirit of autonomy' at the 1989 Cisl Congress, Mario Colombo had already been appointed by the government as director of INPS, the state body which handles

____________________
1
F. Chiaromonte, 'La scommessa dell'autonomia', p. 9.
2
Ibid.
3
Ibid.

-263-

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